On Wednesday, 13 June at Morrisons Pharmacy, Bangor a Welsh language promotion pack for pharmacies in Gwynedd was officially launched. The pack is the result of collaboration between Hunaniaith (Menter Iaith Gwynedd), Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Menter Iaith Bangor and reflects plans for more long-term investment that focuses on the primary health care sector.

The intention with the Welsh language promotion pack is to motivate and help pharmacists and pharmacy staff to develop a Welsh language face to face (and visible) service for the public. Through posters displayed at the pharmacies, it also informs and reminds the public that they are very welcome to speak Welsh. There is a business case for doing this in Gwynedd – the county with the highest percentage of Welsh speakers and in the vast majority of those communities over 70% of residents are able to speak Welsh. It is also significant because of the growth anticipated among the number/percentage of older people, two thirds of whom are Welsh speakers and a large proportion of whom are more comfortable and at home in their mother-tongue. 

The Welsh language promotion pack will be a practical tool to facilitate the implementation of the Proactive Offer (which means providing a proactive service in Welsh for patients without the customer or the patient having to request it). It is an intrinsic part of the Welsh Government Framework More Than Just Words.

At the launch, Gareth Roberts, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Well-being said:

As a County Council, we very much welcome the collaboration that has taken place between agencies and across the region in producing this pack to benefit the Welsh language. Bearing in mind the increasing role of pharmacy services among patients on long-term medication, delivering a service in the patient’s language is a matter of basic need.”

Menna Baines, Chair of Menter Iaith Bangor, said:

“It gives me great comfort to see this development emerge as a result of our project to ‘Help Bangor Businesses Speak more Welsh’ led by Dafydd Apolloni, and the willingness of the head Pharmacist at Morrisons Bangor to collaborate with the Enterprise to promote the Welsh language at the supermarket. It is great to see a big company, such as Morrisons, taking customer care for Welsh speakers seriously, and I very much hope that other independent supermarkets and pharmacies will see the value in using the pack.”